• St. Alphonsus

St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Dekaena to the Holy Spirit


MEDITATION 7

Love Causes God to Dwell in Our Souls

THE HOLY SPIRIT is called "Sweet Guest of the soul." This was the great promise made by Jesus Christ to those who love Him, when He said: "If you love Me, keep My commandments, and I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that He may abide with you forever. The Spirit of truth...shall abide with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:5-17). For the Holy Spirit never forsakes a soul if He is not driven away from it; He does not forsake, unless He be first forsaken.

God, then, dwells in a soul that loves Him. But He declares that He is not satisfied if we do not love Him with our whole heart. St. Augustine tells us that the Roman Senate would not admit Jesus Christ into the number of their gods because they said that He was a proud God, who would have none other beloved but Himself. And so it is. He will have no rivals in the heart that loves Him; and when He sees that He is not the only object loved, He is jealous (so to speak).

St. James writes of those creatures who divide up with Him the heart which He desires to have all to Himself: "Do you think that the scripture saith in vain: To envy doth the spirit covet which dwelleth in you" (James 4:5). In short, as St. Jerome says, Jesus is jealous, "Zelotypus est Jesus." Therefore the heavenly spouse praises that soul which, like the turtledove, lives in solitude and hidden from the world (Cant. 1:9). Because He does not choose that the world should take a part of that love which He desires to have all to Himself, therefore He also praises His spouse by calling her "a garden enclosed" (Cant. 4:12). A garden closed against all earthly love. Do we doubt that Jesus deserves our whole love? "He gave Himself wholly to you", says St. John Chrysostom, "He left nothing for Himself". He has given you all His blood and His life; there is nothing left to give.

Affections and Prayers

I understand, O my God, that Thou wanted me to be all Thine. Many times have I driven Thee from my soul, but Thou didst not shrink from returning to be united to me again. Ah! take possession of my entire self, for today I give myself wholly to Thee. Do Thou accept me, O Jesus, and do not permit that I should again live in the future, no, not even for a moment, without Thy love.

Thou seekest me and I see none but Thee. Thou lovest me and I love Thee. Since Thou lovest me, bind me to Thyself that I may never abandon Thee.

O Mary, Queen of heaven, I trust in thee.

#Dekaena #HolySpirit #Day7

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